Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thai Spicy Eggplant

I have to say that there is power in vitamins.  With gastroparesis comes gastritis and heartburn medicines such as Prevacid, Omeprazole, and Ranidine.  I have done the full gambit and have been on them for continuously three years.  Lately I have been really negative... every time someone asked me "how are you?" I couldn't say anything positive.  Work hasn't been effected, you can't be negative around my students, but everything else has been.  Then two days ago I took medicine and wasnt able to sleep all night.  You really can't work at my job without sleep so I drank a bottle of 5 hour energy.  It didnt give me more energy but it really improved my mood.  Suddenly I didn't have anything bad to say, it was great.  I looked up proton pump inhibitors and and vitamin B and found that they lead to to vitamin B deficiency.  For the last few days I have been taking large amounts of vitamin B12 and have been feeling so much better, its great!  If you have GP and have been struggling with your mood, check it out.

Back to recipes and food.  I think eggplants have been one of my main ingredients this winter.  I have made many dishes with them because they are so versatile.  This recipe is great because it allowed me to use the rest of my thai basil cubes that I froze in the fall.  Then there was a great recipe in this month's Bon Appetit that had me use the rest of my chives while combining them with potatoes, butter and grated lemon peel yesterday.  I only have a few more cubes of oregano pesto then I am ready for the fresh herbs in spring!  

Thai Spicy Eggplant

2 Tbs of oil
1 tsp of crushed red pepper
2 large eggplants, cut into bite size chunks
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbs of nam pla
3 Tbs of soy sauce
2 Tbs of dark brown sugar
3 Tbs of chopped fresh thai basil
1 tsp of sesame oil

Heat a skillet over high heat and add oil, crushed red pepper flakes and saute for 10 to 15 seconds.  Add eggplant and stir fry 2 - 3 minutes.  Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and stir fry for another 3 minutes.  Add the soy sauce and nam pla.  Then sprinkle the sugar and toss for 2 minutes.  Take the pan off the heat and toss with basil and sesame oil.  Serve over jasmine rice.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

GF Veggie Burgers

So, as I said in my last post I had friends over for the Silva UFC fight the day before the Super Bowl. When I was putting everything together I thought briefly of a post that I saw on Photograzing a few days earlier. It was an Oreo cooked inside a chocolate chip cookie. Even though I couldn't eat it (yes, I cheated by trying one...and paid for it) and didn't actually read the recipe, I called up my husband who was in the grocery store and asked him to bring home a bag of Oreos (please someone, take them from my house! They are torturing me in the cabinet) and two rolls of chocolate chip cookies. Here are the results:

Moral of the story is, read the recipe first. However, one of my friends did call me a day or two later and said that I ruined his life, because these cookies were so wonderful and he was trying to not to eat sweets! I wasn't going to post this, but I saw the cookies on SeriousEats today and laughed when I actually read the recipe and found out why my short cut didn't work.

I wish I could say this next recipe was a total hit. I have been looking for a gluten free veggie burger recipe for summer and this was my first attempt. The burger itself tastes good. However, they fall apart easily. I do not know where this recipe is from, I have had it on my to do list for a while-sorry!

Do you have a good gluten free recipe for veggie burgers? Please, let me know. (Oh, by the way the bun is not gluten free... this was my husband's burger)

GF Veggie Burgers

2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup of thinly chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup of grated carrots
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp of ground smoked cumin
2 15oz cans of kidney beans
2 Tbs of Dijon mustard
2 Tbs of soy sauce
2 Tbs of ketchup
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
salt and ground pepper

Saute the onions and garlic in oil until soft. Add the carrots, chili powder, and cumin and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mash the beans with a potato masher. Add mustard, soy sauce, ketchup and onion-carrot mixture. Mix in the oats and add salt and pepper to taste.

Moisten your hands and mold the mixture into 3 -4 inch patties. Use a non-stick skillet or lightly oil one and cookie the patties on medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes on each side.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jerk Pulled Pork With Caribbean Rice and Beans

Its been a long week. I had to do my National Board videos this week and everything went wrong... camera ran out of battery even when I recharged it all night, students were sick, the video didn't go long enough, etc. Then I got sick. Arrggg. Since its been a crazy week I haven't cooked that much, which has made me feel even worse because my husband doesn't cook and is very quick to suggest eating out. I hate eating out and it makes me feel disgusting for days afterwards but as we speak he's out getting a salad for me from Subway from across the street. I wanted sushi, he wanted convenience, so that's what we are getting because he is the one running out for it.

Last week, before the Super Bowl, we had people over for the Silva UFC fight. My husband texted everyone that we were having "light appetizers" but in our house that means there is a lot of food! Everyone knows us for having tons of food when they come over, so I couldn't disappoint. Here are two easy and very tasty dishes. I made these two dishes, along with some other Caribbean ones, when we had our parents over after we eloped and told them that we got married so they are near and dear to my heart. Since we were having people over I didn't get to take great pictures (they were all guys and I didn't want to have to explain why I was taking pictures of food) but you cant go wrong with the recipes.

Slower Cooker Jerk Pulled Pork

1 1/2 to 2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (or 3 - 4 pound if you are using one with bone, which we prefer)
3 Tbs of Jamaican jerk seasoning
1 cup of water
2 large onions, sliced (optional)
1 Tbs of lime juice

Rub jerk seasoning evenly over roast. Place meat into slow cooker. Pour water into slow cooker. If you want to have soft onions to put onto your sandwiches put the sliced onions in the slow cooker before the pork. Cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours or high heat for 4 to 5 hours.

After cooked, remove meat from slow cooker and shred it. Skim the fat from the juices and add enough to moisten the meat. Stir in the lime juice to the meat. Place on to rolls for sandwiches or use on its own.

Caribbean Rice and Beans
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1 15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 of a large red onion (thinly sliced)
4 Tbs of balsamic vinegar

1 tbs of olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup of Arborio rice
3 1/2 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
1/2 cup of white wine
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

Place the beans, onions, and vinegar in a bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Use salt and pepper to season or, if you have dry jerk seasoning left from the pork, use a little to season the beans.

While beans are sitting, begin the rice. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent (5 min). Add rice and stir for 1 minute. Then add white wine and stir until absorbed. Add broth, bay leaves, turmeric and cayenne pepper and stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for around 25 minutes until rice is tender and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Place rice on platter. Drain the bean mixture if there is any vinegar left and then place on top of the rice.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lettuce Wraps and Asian Cucumber Salad

Well, we made it through snowmageddon and for the first time in 13 years my work was closed. Woo hooo! Well, not really. I thought I would enjoy snow days more, but instead of relaxing I spent it shoveling for 5 hours so I could get my car out just in case I had work the next day. My brother and I (with my husband supervising since he cant move his back still) shoveled the sideway, our cars, and our part of the alley out. Then we realized no one else was shoveling so we shoveled 4 more houses to the left. On the right was a 10 ft hill that a bulldozer created early in the morning cutting off one side of the alley. Once we shoveled 4 houses down, we realized that there were around 4 more houses to go. By this time two other guys from other houses had come out and suggested we take on the hill instead. So we did the hill and every part of me still aches... plus I was really angry with our neighbors who live under us. When we first came out, they came by (from a friends house) and laughed. When we asked for help, they said they had a snow blower and we asked that they bring it. They left and didn't came back until we finished everything. We even texted them while shoveling and no help. The next snow day I spent the whole day working on an IEP and I would like to complain about that too, but you never know who reads things on the Internet, so all I have to say is that I find some people's work ethic disgusting.

The day before the snow I went shopping and wanted something that tasted fresh. I had looked at a lettuce wrap recipe from This Week For Dinner and kept it in mind when shopping. My husband hates tofu (I have no idea why, it is so bland and sucks up any sauce that it is) so I had to make a vegetarian and a meat option.

2 Types of Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from This Week For Dinner

1 pound of pork chops (sliced up into small bits) or ground chicken, pork, turkey, etc
1 container of tofu, cubed
1 onion, chopped into small cubes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs of fresh ginger, minced
1 can of water chestnuts, chopped
1 container of fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped into small cubes
1 Tbs of soy sauce
1/4 cups of hoisin
1 Tbs of sherry
1 Tbs of Asian chili pepper sauce
1/2 cup toasted cashews, chopped
1 bunch of green onions
2 tsp of sesame oil

1 - 2 heads of butter or bibb lettuce

1 Tbs of hoisin sauce
3 Tbs of plum sauce

If Making Both Types

Add a Tbs of oil in a large skillet and saute garlic, onions and ginger over medium heat until soft. Add mushrooms and bell peppers and saute for a minute or two. Then add soy sauce, hoisin, sherry and chili pepper sauce and simmer for a few more minutes. Stir in chopped water chestnuts and then remove from heat. Put into two bowls. Cook the pork by sprinkling with salt and pepper sauteing for a few minutes until no longer pink. Mix in with ingredients in one bowl. Put a Tbs of oil in pan for tofu and wait till hot. Put in tofu and cook until it is as browned as you like. Put tofu in other bowl and mix with other ingredients. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil, half of the cashews, and half of the green onions in each bowl. Serve with lettuce leaves and dipping sauce.

If Making Just Pork

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add pork (seasoned with salt and pepper to taste), onions and garlic and cook until pork is cooked through. Then add mushrooms and bell peppers and saute for a minute or two. Add soy sauce, hoisin, sherry and chili pepper sauce and simmer for a few more minutes. Stir in chopped water chestnuts and then remove from heat. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil, cashews, and green onions and mix in a bowl. Serve with lettuce leaves and dipping sauce.

If Making Just Tofu

Add a Tbs of oil in a large skillet and saute garlic, onions and ginger over medium heat until soft. Add mushrooms and bell peppers and saute for a minute or two. Then add soy sauce, hoisin, sherry and chili pepper sauce and tofu and simmer for a few more minutes. Stir in chopped water chestnuts and then remove from heat. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil and green onions and mix in a bowl. Serve with lettuce leaves and dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
Mix together hoisin and plum sauce and serve!

Asian Cucumber Salad

1 large seedless cucumber, peeled, sliced in half then cut in 1/2 inch slices
2 Tbs of chopped onion
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
Toasted sesame seeds

Put the cucumber in a bowl and mix with onion. Heat the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan on low heat until sugar is dissovled. Pour on top of cucumber mixture. Cool in refrigerator for an hour or more. Tastes great the next day. Sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds.